What do you think about these people, that go around charging the earth for helping bands out as deps? In my experience many of them are nowhere near as good as they think they are and for some reason think that just because they go to the 'Royal Northern' or Salford that they are professionals. There are a few at the moment that are 'freelance' i.e not commited to any band and are even ripping off lower section bands. We recently had a player who spent most of the concert 'lost', hardly played a note and then wanted sixty quid. You can imagine where he was told to go! By contrast we had one of the movements most respected and experienced players charging absolutely nothing. Check your dictionaries guys. The words 'professional' and 'student' do not mean the same thing. When you're turning down the Halle to go and play in a brass band then you can start sending an invoice. I think that it's about time that bands became more prepared when asking guest players. The idea of charging a 'fee' is nonsense. The bands should pay a reasonable amount in expenses and that's it. It's not always necessary to book someone who is wanting £40-£100 for hitting a tambourine and cymbal. I think we should start freezing these people out of the system. Let them play in their own bands but don't ask them to play in yours unless they agree a reasonable amount beforehand. Have a mutual arrangement between bands maybe.. As far as my band is concerned, the gravy train is over. The ones that have fleeced us in the past won't be getting asked again and the others will be told what to expect before they play a note.